Messaging app Telegram adds selfie masks, DIY GIFs

With what looks to be an eye on Snapchat’s selfie-loving fanbase, messaging platform Telegram has beefed up its in-app photo editor in what it dubs an “entertainment-heavy update” — including an option that lets users customize selfies by adding cartoon masks that automatically align on their faces. Snapchat of course has a lenses feature for transforming users’ selfies. The Telegram feature is far less…

The ugly reality of an Oculus founder’s politics

It hasn’t been a great couple of days for Facebook PR. For one thing, the company admitted that, due to an error, it has been significantly inflating its reports on average video view times. For another, The Daily Beast discovered that Oculus founder Palmer Luckey is backing the pro-Donald Trump organization Nimble America, a group dedicated…

Marketers say Facebook video metrics scandal is overblown

“The issue is being hugely overblown. Marketers do not care about it, and it has zero impact on spend.” That’s the response of Jason Stein, founder and CEO of 250-employee social marketing agency Laundry Service, to a Wall Street Journal report strongly criticizing an error in Facebook’s “average duration of video viewed” metric. The paper called…

And now there are 500K active advertisers on Instagram

For those of you following Instagram’s ad business, my headline might seem a bit familiar — yes, the Facebook-owned photo-sharing service announced another advertiser milestone back in February, but at the time there were only 200,000 advertisers, less than half of the 500,000 advertisers that Instagram says it has today. To be clear, the company says…

When’s the best time to share on Facebook?

There’s all manner of advice and guidance on the web for online publishers looking to optimize their social media efforts. CoSchedule, Fast Company, HubSpot, ShortStack, Forbes, Hootsuite, QuickSprout and others all claim to have the answers to such seemingly simple questions as “When is the best time to post on Facebook?” and “How often should you post stories on Facebook?” However, many…

Tumblr to roll out affiliate links across all users’ blogs

Tumblr announced on Thursday it intends to roll out affiliate codes across its site – meaning all users’ blogs – as a means of generating additional revenue. The Yahoo-owned blogging platform teamed up with VigLink to make this transition, which will affect all users who have not specifically opted out of affiliate links via a new option in Tumblr’s Settings.…

Circle takes $60M to grow its social payments biz globally, as it steps into China

How do you compete with China’s homegrown social payments giants? Veteran entrepreneur Jeremy Allaire, co-founder of U.S.-based social payments app Circle, reckons you don’t; not like for like in the domestic Chinese market. Which is really the sensible view, given that WeChat Pay was already seeing some $50 billion in monthly transaction volume back in March. Meanwhile the older Alipay service…

Michelle Obama is now on Snapchat

Michelle Obama has joined Snapchat. The First Lady announced yesterday that she is joining the platform so users can see a behind-the-scenes look at her life in the White House. You can add her using the QR code above, or by manually adding “MichelleObama”. In addition to her daily life, she’ll be Snapchatting her upcoming…

Facebook brings emoji to VR with 360 Reactions

Watching 360-degree videos alone on your Gear VR is about to get a little less lonely. Oculus just rolled out the ability for users to see and leave Facebook’s five emoji reactions on 360 Videos within Gear VR’s video app. While Reactions started as a risky attempt at tampering with Facebook’s iconic Like button, they’ve become a…